How joy became a commodity

Komm, Herr Jesu; sei du unser Gast; Und segne, was du uns bescheret hast. Whiteness is the bargain that all white people's ancestors accepted. It was simple: in exchange for being accepted into whiteness – a fellowship of basic social status and economic reward – they agreed to give up their ancestral cultures. My ancestors…

Patriotism

Americans are not uniquely patriotic, but many of us express the patriotism common to citizens of empires throughout history. This patriotism equates happiness with military and economic might. This patriotism unironically claims that ours is the best country, not just in the modern world, but in the history of the world. This patriotism is about…

The real learning loss

This essay was also published in the Oak Park newspaper Wednesday Journal.  Every year, parents, educators, and community members worry about “summer learning loss”. During the pandemic, these worries have taken on new dimensions: what can we do about all the knowledge and skills that students have supposedly lost over the past year and a…

Unmaking this world

This piece was also published in the Oak Park newspaper Wednesday Journal.  This world will be unmade. Will it be by the creep of increasing vapors altering the chemistry of our atmosphere and oceans? By the waters and winds of a weather cataclysm? By the scorching inferno of an unstoppable fire? By the armed conflict…

The work of antiracism is the work of relationship.

Recently, news outlets have been covering two letters decrying antiracism work at two elite, private schools in New York City. In the first letter, Andrew Gutman, a white businessman, describes pulling his daughter out of Brearley School, citing the school’s “obsession with race”, and sending his letter to hundreds of families whose children are enrolled…

Choosing abolition

This was also published in the Oak Park newspaper Wednesday Journal. This week, Derek Chauvin was found guilty for the murder of George Floyd. As many have argued, this is not justice, just a small measure of accountability. True justice means changing the system so that these murders stop happening. So that people like George…

Vaccinated

Inside my body, I now have molecules that will teach my immune system to recognize the COVID-19 virus. As I sit here waiting in the pharmacy, my body is gaining the knowledge of how to dismantle the threat that has held us hostage for the past year. And my ability to access the vaccine that…